Biography

Karen is a reader in Speech & Language Therapy with a particular focus on children and adults with intellectual disability.

Career History

  • The early part of my career was spent in clinical practice, working with people with intellectual disability in special schools and community teams. In 1992 I moved into higher education as a lecturer in the Department of Language & Communication Sciences at City University London. For much of this time I worked as a course director for the degree programme in speech & language therapy, responsible for a major revision and re-modularisation.
  • I was promoted to a senior lectureship in 2000.
  • Since 2003, I have worked at UEA as Course Director for a period of 6 years, jointly leading the set of a new degree course in Speech & Language Therapy.
  • In 2009 I was awarded a readership in Speech & Language Therapy.

Professional Qualifications and professional memberships 

  • Membership of Health Professions Council
  • PhD ‘Development of an Individualised Sensory Environment for Adults with Learning Disabilities and an Evaluation of its Effects on their Interactive Behaviours’. City University London.
  • Registered member of the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists
  • Dip. Speech Therapy, National Hospitals College of Speech Sciences (NHCSS affiliated to UCL). Licence to practise (L.C.S.T) Pt 1 & 2

All Publications

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Bunning, K., Gona, J. K., Newton, C. R., Hartley, S.

(2017)

The perception of disability by community groups: Stories of local understanding, beliefs and challenges in a rural part of Kenya,

in PLoS One

12

(8)

article no. e0182214

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Gooch, L., Johnson, M.

(2017)

Developing the personal narratives of children with complex communication needs associated with intellectual disabilities: what is the potential of Storysharing®?,

in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

30

(4)

pp. 743–756

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Alder, R., Proudman, L., Wyborn, H.

(2017)

Co-production and pilot of a structured interview using Talking Mats® to survey the television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with learning disabilities,

in British Journal of Learning Disabilities

45

(1)

pp. 1–11

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K.

(2015)

Profound learning Disability and multiple impairment. Focus on practice: theory, research and clinical skills:,

(Other)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Gona, J. K., Newton, C. R., Hartley, S.

(2014)

Caregiver perceptions of children who have complex communication needs following a home-based intervention using augmentative and alternative communication in rural Kenya: an intervention note: Home-based intervention using AAC in rural Kenya,

in Augmentative & Alternative Communication

30

(4)

pp. 344-356

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Davies, R., Greenwood, J., Sturman, E., Toner, C.

(2014)

Television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with intellectual disability: A survey using a Talking Mats® - Questionnaire,

in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

27

(4)

pp. 366

Full Text

(Special issue)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Gona, J. K., Odera-Mung'ala, V., Newton, C. R., Geere, J., Hong, C. S., Hartley, S.

(2014)

Survey of rehabilitation support for children 0-15 years in a rural part of Kenya,

in Disability and Rehabilitation

36

(12)

pp. 1033-1041

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gona, J., Newton, C., Hartley, S., Bunning, K.

(2014)

A home-based intervention using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques in rural Kenya: what are the caregivers’ experiences?,

in Child: Care, Health and Development

40

(1)

pp. 29-41

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Buell, S., Bunning, K., Langdon, P., Pounds, G.

(2014)

The Easy Read Project: an investigation into the accessibility value of health-based ‘easy read’ literature,

in IASSID Europe Congress, Vienna .

(Conference contribution)

(Published)


Bunning, K.

(2014)

Taking part through telling stories: a pilot study of Storysharing(R): Taking part through telling stories,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Smith, C., Kennedy, P., Greenham, C.

(2013)

Examination of the communication interface between students with severe to profound and multiple intellectual disability and educational staff during structured teaching sessions,

in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

57

(1)

pp. 39-52

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Gona, J. K., Buell, S., Newton, C. R., Hartley, S.

(2013)

Investigation of practices to support the complex communication needs of children with hearing impairment and cerebral palsy in a rural district of Kenya: a case series,

in International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders

48

(6)

pp. 689-702

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Kwiatkowska, G., Weldin, N.

(2012)

People with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities using symbols to control a computer: Exploration of user engagement and supporter facilitation,

in Assistive Technology

24

(4)

pp. 259-270

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bailey, P., Bunning, K.

(2011)

Narrative construction by an aided speaker: a pilot study,

in Journal of Assistive Technologies

5

(4)

pp. 199-213

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K.

(2011)

Let me speak: facilitating communication,

in Learning Disaabilities: Towards Inclusion, 6th edition.

Elsevier

ISBN 978-0-7020-4285-0

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Buell, S.

(2011)

Adults with Learning Disabilities,

in The Impact of Communication Disability Across the Lifespan.

J & R Press

pp. 207-224

ISBN 978-1-907826-03-0

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Xiong, T., Bunning, K., Horton, S., Hartley, S.

(2011)

Assessing and comparing the outcome measures for the rehabilitation of adults with communication disorders in randomised controlled trials: an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health approach,

in Disability and Rehabilitation

pp. 1-19

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K.

(2010)

Making connections: Evaluation of a Total Communication training cascade in adult services in a rural part of the U.K.,

in Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Disabilities.

Nova Sciences Publishers Inc

pp. 175-182

ISBN 978-1-61668-023-7

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Ellis, M.

(2010)

A preliminary investigation into communication in the special needs classroom during Key Stage Three English lessons,

in Child Language Teaching & Therapy

26

(2)

pp. 180-194

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bunning, K., Heath, B., Minnion, A.

(2010)

Interaction between teachers and students with intellectual disability during computer-based activities: the role of human mediation,

in Technology & Disability

22

(1-2)

pp. 61-72

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Karen’s research interests lie in the field of developmental disability, in particular children and adults with severe to profound, intellectual and multiple disabilities associated with complex communication needs. This interest has supported research both in the U.K. and in Kenya. The driving force in Karen’s research activities lies in the explication of human interaction with a particular focus on children and adults with developmental disability. This is defined by four key areas:

  • Assistive technology: the development and application of rich and multiple media, exploration of methods to augment natural communication methods and the role of human mediation.
  • Childhood disability in developing countries, in particular Africa: social responses and impact of disability, habilitation opportunities provided, e.g. speech & language therapy.
  • Human interaction: in particular the communication partnership of individual with intellectual disability and a typically functioning supporter, e.g. teacher and student with intellectual disability; support worker and user of services.
  • Accessibility of language forms, including discourse in text, on television and on the World Wide Web.

Recent and ongoing research has involved investigating rehabilitation provision for young people growing up with disability in a rural part of Kenya, teacher-student talk in the special needs classroom, the role of human mediation in computer-based activities, the effects of a home-based intervention on children with complex communication needs in a rural part of Kenya. 

Karen has written and contributed to a number of texts on the subject of intellectual disability.

Grants/Funding

Bunning, K. (PI), Gona, J. & Newton, C. (2013-14). Preparation for Communication for All (Pre-CALL). CT Trust: £40,000.

Bunning, K. (PI), Gona, J., Hartley, S., Newton, C. (UEA & KEMRI) (2010-12). Communication for ALL (CALL). CT Trust: £30,000.

Platform Presentations (last 10 years)

2010

 

Impacts of new media methods on the individual for self advocacy and self-determination.

Intellectual Disability Forum: The place of new media in the care and education of people with intellectual disabilities

Royal Society of Medicine, London.

2008

Making connections: evaluation of a total communication strategy in services for adults with intellectual disability

Information & Communication Technology (ICT) for Young People with Intellectual Disability: the role of human mediation

Congress Abstracts: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 52, pt 8 & 9.

13h World Congress of IASSID – People with Intellectual Disabilities: Citizens in the World. Cape Town, South Africa.

2006

Rich & multiple media: the new face of communication for young people with learning difficulties?

Rich and multiple media: a place in the advocacy process?

Multi Media Conference. ESRC- PACCIT sponsored; University of East London.

2004

Making sense in primary care: the challenge of negotiating health when you have a communication disability.

Congress Abstracts: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 44, pt 3 & 4.

12th World Congress of IASSID - Towards Mutual Understanding: Person, Environment & Community. Montpelier, France.

2003

Profound learning disability & multiple impairment.

Wicked issues for people with complex needs.

Focus on practice: theory, research and clinical skills. British Psychological Society: Holloway, London.

2002

 

Communication profiling: capturing interactions between carer and client;

Whose service is it anyway? Promoting communication access to information

Congress Abstracts: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 44, pt 3 & 4.

1st European Congress of IASSID, Dublin, Eire.

2001

Hearing impairment: the case for a systematic approach to detection.

Learning to be common in therapy: crossing the client group divide.

Interpreting the communication of people with severe-profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Responding to the challenge: examining the role of communication in challenging behaviour interventions.

RCSLT National Scientific Conference, Birmingham, UK.

2001

Unconscious intention or meaning to challenge?

Intellectual Disability Forum: Achievements, Difficulties and the Future for People with learning Disabilities. Royal Society of Medicine, London.

2000

Hearing impairment: the case for a systematic approach to detection.

Effects of sensory-based intervention on interactive behaviour.

Interpreting the communication of people with severe-profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Congress Abstracts: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 44, pt 3 & 4.

11th World Congress of IASSID, New Millennium Research to Practice. Seattle, USA

Research Group Membership

Membership of the ‘Participation’ research group in RSC.

Research consultant of the Rix Centre, UEL.

Teaching Interests

My teaching is focused mainly on intellectual disability and autistic spectrum disorders, specifically focusing on language acquisition, pragmatics and discourse, communication ecology, augmentative and alternative communication, special educational needs and speech & language therapy intervention.

I am willing to supervise PGR students in the following areas:

  • Children & adults with intellectual disability
  • Low tech, augmentative communication methods
  • Cognitive impairment & communication
  • Intellectual disability & new media

My current teaching commitments include:

BSc (hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Learning Difficulties: Intellectual   disability & autistic spectrum disorders; speech & language therapy   practice; special education; applied linguistics; research dissertations

Speech & Language Therapy Practice:   preparation for placement workshops

Clinical Psychology Doctorate programme: Communication   disorders across the spectrum & intervention options

PGCE: Communication needs of young children

Research Skills (2): quantitative research   methods; observational research

Final year research dissertations: group   based research projects

 

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • Current activities - August 2009
  • 2008-present: Consultant researcher to Rix Centre, University of East London
  • 2007-present: External Examiner to BSc Speech & Language Therapy at Trinity College, Dublin, EIRE.
  • External advisor to the School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies at University of East London in the development and set up of a course in ‘Multi-media Advocacy’.

Enterprise and Engagement activities

  • Working with educational and social facilities for children, young people and adults with intellectual disability in Norwich as part of a final year research dissertation - 2012/13
  • Working with teachers and children in special educational facilities - 2006 to 2009

Key Responsibilities

I am currently a Module Coordinator for the BSc (hons) Speech & Language Therapy. I am a member of the steering committee for the Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology centre.

Administrative Posts

Karen is currently coordinator of the module Learning Difficulties which occurs in the second year of the Speech & Language Therapy degree course. She is also the lead for development of an assistive communication resource as part of the Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology centre in the school.